Maryland Grows

Putting your small fruit plants on hold

My small fruit plants arrived at home before I could plant. Here’s what I did to “store them”. In all cases, keep the plants cool and out of direct sunlight and keep the roots moist:

  • I opened the box they arrived in and surrounded the roots with moistened shredded newspaper. I’ve also used potting soil.

  • I “planted” some of them in a 5-gallon plastic bucket with drainage holes in the bottom and covered the roots with potting soil.
  • I made a 6-in. deep trench in a shady spot in a garden bed for my blueberry and purple raspberry plants. I laid the plants perpendicular to the trench with the roots in the trench. Then I covered the roots with soil.

In all cases, I kept the plants out of direct sunlight and kept the roots moist. The plants leafed out while on hold and that was ok. After planting them in their permanent location I cut the raspberry and blackberry plants to within 2-3 inches of the soil and I cut back the blueberry plants by 50%.

I love asparagus!

There’s nothing better than asparagus fresh from the garden! We harvested our first spears this morning and roasted them in the oven for lunch.
For a real treat, toss spears with a little olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt, add freshly ground pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven (or grill) for about 15 minutes or until tender-crisp.

Garlic is happiness

I love everything about garlic. Here is a new bed I prepared last fall, about 4 ft. X 18 ft. I worked in six, 5-gallon buckets of compost because garlic grows great in rich, loose soil.There are four rows, each with about 50 plants from cloves I planted in October. This is ‘German White’ a hard-neck cultivar that has done well for me in Maryland. I used chopped leaves to mulch the bed. In a few weeks, I’ll pull the mulch back and lightly fertilize each row with some FertileGro, a dried chicken litter fertilizer I bought a few years ago. Not sure if you can buy it in gardener-size bags anymore.

Martha Stewart Builds a Salad Table

Wow- me on Martha Stewart demonstrating the Salad Table that was developed right here on the University research farm. It was very exciting to be invited and to go on the show in New York City. The production crew was fantastic- lots of young people who loved the Salad Table and Salad Box and want to build them and use them at home! Martha told me about all of the veggies she grew over the fall and winter in cold frames and a cool greenhouse. She is definitely into food gardening. Her web site and magazine feature lots of good stories and tips on food gardening and buying local. She had a big spread in the March issue of her magazine on Joan and Drew Norman, operators of One Straw Farm in Baltimore County.
If you missed the Salad Table go to the show’s web site and click here to see the video.

What R U growing in your garden?

Let us know your food gardening plans. In Maryland, call 1-800-342-2507 if you have questions. Or send us an email at

Remember to watch Jon on Martha Stewart tomorrow!

View promos of Maryland Salad Table on quotes Jon Traunfeld (click on link) reporter Elizabeth Jia reports on the economic benefits of home food gardening. Quotes Jon Traunfeld and includes links to website.